exchange4media’s digital marketing awards, the Indian Digital Marketing Awards (IDMA) 2016, will be held on June 17 at St Regis, Mumbai.
The objective of IDMA is to recognize, celebrate and encourage the work being done in the ever-growing advertising and marketing communications domain in the digital media space, specifically, internet, mobile, gaming, social media and the blogosphere.
As digital marketing continues to evolve, one aspect that has risen to prominence is the importance of storytelling. This is especially true with audiences showing an increasing amount of disdain towards plain vanilla advertising, considering it intrusive. This has given rise to the need for great content, which is engaging and interesting as well as the related concept of native advertising.
Pioneering companies like Nike, Kellogg’s, etc. are breaking the norms of advertising through radical ideas that make use of the full extent of the digital medium. We asked some jury members of the IDMA 2016 to share their views on the importance of content marketing.
“This digital version of advertorials has grown exponentially in the last 4 years with tech companies, publishers and brands jumping on the bandwagon. But native blurs the lines between editorial and advertising. There’s a fine line here and those who are able to maintain it will emerge as the long term players,” opines Lavin Punjabi, President at Affinity Networks.
Atul Hegde, Co-founder at Rainmaker Ventures is of the opinion that content marketing is the only way forward due to the very nature of the digital medium. “In an age where every user is a content creator & every platform is about co-creation, content marketing is integral to every marketing activity. It's only a matter of which brand recognises this and has skill sets to leverage this. The ones that do will be runaway winners,” he says.
But these are still early days and it is not difficult to find examples were native or content marketing campaigns have gone horribly wrong. One reason for this, opines Anjali Hegde, CEO of Ansible Mobiles, is that there is a lot of noise that is created in the name of native advertising. “There is a content overload and most of it is flash in the pan kind of content being churned out. Breakthroughs are fewer and far between,” she says. However, Hegde does point out that this has also created a large talent pool, which will be of help in the long run.
“I am sure over a period of time, some good work will start emerging and there would be established metrics and benchmarks to learn from,” she adds.
Suveer Bajaj, Founding Partner of Foxymoron, agrees that native advertising is the most powerful tool for niche brands to talk to evolved audiences that do not want to be advertised to. He feels that if tactically executed, it has the power to become a part of our daily lives and very subtly change human behaviour by influencing sub cultures.
According to Lakshmi Goyal, Head of Brand & Marketing at Standard Chartered India, though content marketing helps drive deeper brand engagement and native advertising helps reach a wider audience, it also depends on the brand objective.
“The budget at hand also plays big role, if a brand has the necessary deep pockets and it is relevant to it, native advertising will give it the necessary reach in a short span of time, however content marketing may be a little expensive to produce the content, but promoting it is relatively cheaper because the platforms themselves help push it,” she says.
Kunal Kishore Sinha, Co-founder of Value360 is of the opinion that going forward we can expect content marketing to play an even bigger role in communications. “It is reported that 61 per cent of clients prefer to buy from a company that offers customized content, as they connect more with the brand and find it to be more reliable,” he informed.
Native marketing, which he adds is widely considered to be an evolution of embedded marketing, is also gaining prominence, according to him.
“While many marketing techniques place the product within the content, native marketing effectively integrates the selling point and the content into one single entity in order to send across a consolidated message. Such a targeted approach generally leads to a greater impact in the minds of the audience, and has a higher chance of getting the message across to the consumer and creating an aspirational need for the product or service being marketed. The native blog of Bewakoof.com, called Utter Bewakoof, can be considered to be among successful native marketing strategies that have been implemented within the country,” he added.